The family of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a white Cleveland, OH police officer in 2014, will receive $6 million from the city of Cleveland in a settlement, the New York Times reports. Under the terms of the settlement, which is still pending approval from a probate court, the city does not concede to wrongdoing.

From the Times:

Lawyers for Tamir’s estate said Monday that “no amount of money can adequately compensate” the boy’s relatives for their grief.

“In a situation like this, there’s no such thing as closure or justice,” the lawyers, Jonathan S. Abady and Earl S. Ward, said in a statement. “Nothing will bring Tamir back. His unnecessary and premature death leaves a gaping hole for those who knew and loved him that can never be filled.”


Previously Cleveland’s response to the lawsuit, filed two weeks after Tamir’s death, essentially put a deceased child on trial for his own death—the mayor apologized, and a revised filing was released—and later, even more incredibly, Cleveland attempted to sue the Rice family for $500 to cover Rice’s emergency medical treatment.

This settlement is one of many cities have handed out to the families of black victims of state violence—from Freddie Gray ($6.4 million) to Eric Garner ($5.9 million)—in order to avoid litigation costs and potentially larger judgments in court, and, crucially, to avoid admitting any liability or formal responsibility for the lives they took. The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an independent review of the case.


Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, who advised a grand jury against indicting officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback—and who once referred to Rice’s family as “very interesting people” who “have their own economic motives” for pursuing civil claims against the city—was recently voted out of office, the only action following Rice’s death that can be remotely considered justice.

A woman protests outside the Cuyahoga County Justice Center on Dec. 29, 2015, following a Cleveland grand jury’s decision not to indict two police officers in the death of Tamir Rice. Image via AP.

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.

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